Legislative declaration — Forest protection zones.
(1) The legislature finds and declares that forest lands within the state are increasingly being used for residential purposes; that the risk to life and property is increasing from forest fires which may destroy developed property; that, based on the primary missions for the respective fire control agencies established in this chapter, adjustment of the geographic areas of responsibility has not kept pace with the increasing use of forest lands for residential purposes; and that the department should work with the state's other fire control agencies to define geographic areas of responsibility that are more consistent with their respective primary missions.
(2) To accomplish the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, the department shall establish a procedure to clarify its geographic areas of responsibility. The areas of department protection shall be called forest protection zones. The forest protection zones shall include all forest land which the department is obligated to protect but shall not include forest land within rural fire districts or municipal fire districts which affected local fire control agencies agree, by mutual consent with the department, is not appropriate for department protection. Forest land not included within a forest protection zone established by mutual agreement of the department and a rural fire district or a municipal fire district shall not be assessed under RCW 76.04.610 or 76.04.630.
(3) After the department and any affected local fire protection agencies have agreed on the boundary of a forest protection zone, the department shall establish the boundary by rule under chapter 34.05 RCW.
(4) Except by agreement of the affected parties, the establishment of forest protection zones shall not alter any mutual aid agreement.
[1995 c 151 § 2; 1988 c 273 § 2.]